And so it begins…

I figure that I should write one more time before I begin teaching tomorrow since I’m sure I will have lots of preliminary observations to share with you about my school. This weekend has been relatively relaxing which was nice after running around like a chicken with my head cut off when I first got here. While I planned on potentially doing a “test run” to the town where I’ll be teaching, I decided to put that on hold and just blindly attempt it tomorrow. I’m hoping for the best.

Last night, Sarah had a craving for paella that I wasn’t opposed to appeasing. While restaurants serving paella are a dime a dozen, there’s definitely something that distinguishes good paella from great paella. With stomachs grumbling, we headed to Costa Blanca Arrocería not too far from where we live after a little online research tipped me off. We got there around 8 pm but, of course, they weren’t opening up for dinner until at least 8:30. Silly Americans… We sat down at a cocktail bar next door for a drink while anxiously awaiting our feast.

When it was time for dinner, we ordered paella mixta– the kind of paella adorned with chicken, calamari, clams, and shrimp, along with a pitcher of sangria. We were immediately brought a basket with three huge pieces of bread in it which after the meal we remembered you’re charged extra for. That’s something which we’ll definitely not forget next time (ya live and ya learn, right?). While we waited for the paella to be made, we also got a huge plate of olives and free calamari thanks to the waiters. We’ve found ourselves privy to such treats quite frequently since we’ve been here, whether it’s an extra glass of wine on the house or free (and delicious) calamari. I’m not complaining and partially credit my roommate’s blond hair as a big draw.

Eventually, our pan of paella arrived piping hot: It was absolutely delicious and a place I’d definitely go back to.

Then we ventured into Sol where we returned to one of my favorite places and foodie mecca, El Mercado de San Miguel. We retired home on the “earlier” side to wake up this morning to head to El Rastro which I can say hasn’t gotten any less popular since the last time I was here. In fact, I think it’s even bigger. While we were wandering the streets scoping out bargains, a line of people caught my eye. They were all waiting to get inside the same little restaurant to grab a tosta, it’s basically an open-faced sandwich. While the line seemed long, my curiosity got the better of me and we hopped in with the rest of them to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out, they know how to work a crowd so within minutes we were right back outside with a styrofoam tray in our hands. I went with pulpo (or octopus), while my friends got the chorizo and jamón. All in all, not a bad way to spend 2.50. Now we’re back in the apartment for the afternoon. I’m going to go run around the park and later on we have plans to watch the Real Madrid game at a local place. While I wish I could be watching the Hurricanes and Steelers play, when in Spain, my loyalty is going to have to switch over to their kind of football. Tonight, I’m hoping I’ll be able to suppress those first day of school jitters and get a good night of sleep before I begin work tomorrow.

If you’re reading this (and I know there are some of you out there!), take a sec to leave a comment. I’d love to know what you’re up to too!

Hasta luego!

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